When touring the Mosel in 2008, we visited, amongst other places, a village called Leiwen. It was chosen for very practical reasons, as the wide and comfortable cycle paths along the river lead right past it, but more importantly for bacchanal reasons as it is the home of the St. Urbans-Hof winery. Small by New World standards, the 33ha vineyard area owned by the Weis family actually make the estate one of giants of the Mosel/Saar region and they include sections of several prestigious vineyards.
One of them is the Bockstein, near the village of Ockfen at the Saar river. There was no time to visit Ockfen in 2008, and until that can be remedied I will have to make due with enjoying the odd bottle of Ockfener Bockstein Riesling.
The most recent bottle found its way into my rucksack at a tasting of Mosel wines in London when I was amongst the small group of greedy losers hanging out at the venue until it closed. This was also when the gentleman running the Urbans-Hof table decided he did not want to carry the last remaining bottle of 2010 Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett back home with him...
Before we fast-forward a few months to me enjoying the Riesling in the London Wine Rambler HQ, let's take a quick view at the Bockstein. It is a very steep hillside slope in a side valley of the Saar river, with gravelly slate soils that are said to give the wines a smoky aroma and great minerality. I have experienced that minerality before, with the highlight being a 1990 Auslese Riesling from the Bockstein that I tasted at a wine matching dinner.
But now the 2010 Kabinett. Its bouquet is a little more on the delicate side, but still very encouraging with herbal aromas and delightful fruit, especially peach and citrus, but also some apple, tropical fruit and poached pear. A little less fruity on the palate there is still quite a bit of elegant, fruity juiciness, giving the Riesling a nice sweet touch finish, balanced by acidity, a hint of rubber and a good sprinkle of minerality. Despite it being well rounded I found it perhaps not quite as exciting as some of the other stunning Urbans-Hof wines I have tasted, but it still drinks extremely well - a definite Gaumenschmeichler, I would say, or "charmer of palates", if you want the translation.